The forecast was bleak. Just the day before the Hampstead run of my A Sense of Place Workshop, it showed rain, rain, rain. Everyone was supposed to be prepared for the weather, but I knew a lot of rain would cut our afternoon photowalk short. So imagine the delightful surprise, waking up to a day of blue sky and sun!
Saturday 8th October proved to be a great day for a photowalk. With the same format as the Hebden Bridge workshop, on this day four participants gathered at The Oak Studio in Hampstead for the morning classroom portion session and then a photowalk in the afternoon.
It was a great morning, getting to know everyone as we talked Photography of Place. We discussed our personal philosophies and approach on photography, and how that figured into our individual sense of place. We looked at whether we tend toward capturing the big picture, landscapes and cityscapes, or the little details. We talked about creating images that convey our experience of a place.
And then we went out to practice! Our walk began as we took the underground from Hampstead to Brick Lane, although we spent more time chatting with each other than photographing on this part of the journey.
We arrived at Brick Lane with cameras in hand and blue skies above. What a lively place! It was a fantastic opportunity to capture everything from grungy urban texture to vibrant graffiti to vintage looks. It was amazing the different views and details we could choose from in the walk through these few streets. What we all see and choose to photograph is so different! The variety is evident in the images from the participants:
Photo by Elissa
Photo by Becs
Photo by Barbara
Photo by Justine
During the walk we chatted and mingled as we photographed. It’s always fun to be with other photographers, because you understand each other. You aren’t hurried along, and you don’t get weird looks from each other about what you choose to photograph.
Being in a group photographers can embolden you, and help you photograph in situations you normally don’t. One thing I heard both at the workshop and when I went on photowalks with other friends during this trip was how brave I was, taking pictures of anything. Me? Brave? I don’t see myself that way. But the comments made me realize I have become more comfortable just capturing things that interest me, regardless of who is around. If I can help others feel more empowered to capture what they want to capture, then hey, I guess I’ve done my job as an instructor.
Photo by Becs
We wandered our way to a fence of love locks, where Justine left us for the day. Unfortunately I thought of getting the group photo just after she left, so this isn’t quite the full class group.
I can’t tell you how fabulous it was to meet these lovely photographers in person. Since they all had been in my online classes at one time or another, we’ve interacted before, but it was a great way to get to know each other in a new way. To hear about their lives beyond the computer, along with our shared interest in photography. I hope that the connections made on this day continue well into the future.
I’ve always believed that taking workshops is a fantastic way to get us out of our regular patterns, and to learn something new that can help us continue our growth as artists. I take the approach that if I get even one new idea from a workshop that I can put into practice, it was time well spent.
What I’ve known for a while is that teaching workshops ratchets it up a notch from there. It can be daunting and scary to put yourself in place as the teacher, but ultimately, the experience of thinking through the concepts, creating the content and then seeing it put to use by others is immensely satisfying.
What I learned from these workshops: I enjoy it just as much so in person as online. I think I was made for this.
Want to see more images and hear more about the Hampstead workshop? Check out these blog posts from the participants:
A Workshop and A Photowalk by Becs
Photography Down the Lane by Elissa
A Sense of Place by Barbara
a sense of place by Justine
Sense of Place with Kat Sloma from Kat Eye Studio by Fiona